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4/28/2022 - Boys and Girls Club 

5/5/2022 - LOCATION CHANGE -Our meeting will be at PIZZA RANCH due to a wedding reception at CHOW

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Inspiring leaders with passion to serve humanity; strengthening youth for tomorrow's leadership and enhancing lives in our world.

Debbi Rydberg is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. April 28, 2022
Topic: Debbi Rydberg's Personal Meeting Room
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 805 719 286
 Regular and Zoom Meeting April 21, 2022
Today our meeting was ran by President Elect, Theresa Slominski.
Guests:  John Houlton, First Bank Elk River
                              Mark Kuyava, Ace Handyman Service, prospective member
                              Allie with the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce
Attending:           Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Brandon Hanson, Molly Hanson, Heather Kliewer, John Osterman, Nicole Rasmussen, Pete Reiner, Beth Richards, Debbi Rydberg, Kat Sarff, Theresa Slominski, honorary Glen Ertel, Bruce Tyler and Stewart Wilson

Theresa welcomed us and wished us a Happy National Volunteer Day!

John Houlton visited to rev us up for the Taste of Elk River.  He thanked us for allowing First Bank Elk River to be a part of our event with their Private Tasting Tent.  He shared that this is the best marketing opportunity throughout his whole year.  He gets more business and closed deals through this event, than any other event.  He encourages us to pre-sell our tickets.  The theme for the Tasting Tent this year is a Mediterranean Wine Tour theme.  They will have a wine tour and European liquors and their food will be a bit different this year and will include some outside grilling!  John came with a few trivia questions and winners of bottles of wine were Brandon Hanson, Nicole Rasmussen and Debbi Rydberg and a soft cozy blanket was won by Beth Richards.
Bonnie Koste
introduced our program today.  We heard from Rivers of Hope, Hannah and Mel. 
Rivers of HopeHannah is the Executive Director and Mel is the Youth Team Lead/Youth Outreach Coordinator.  Rivers of Hope was started in 1989 in Elk River by some teachers at Elk River High School, who saw a need to help those in abused situations.  In 1990, they expanded into Wright County and in 1991, they added their youth programs.  They advocate to end violence.  They offer support, education and advocacy and have formed many good partnerships in the communities in which they serve.  Mel talked about relationship abuse and what that is.  She encounters this while working with youth.  Family domestic abuse, violence with partner, violence in teen dating or violence/bullying in a friendship.  They have both adult and teen advocates.  The advocates reach out and offer assistance and resources.  The advocate is a cheerleader of sorts to empower them to share their needs on their journey.  There are currently 111 youth in this program, in two counties.  Elk River Schools have two advocates who visit the High School, Ivan Sand High School and Salk Middle School.  They shared a few statistics with us - 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience abuse.  1 in 3 teens experience dating violence. In 2021, there were over 25 deaths due to domestic violence and over 80% go unreported!  In 2019, they took a youth survey and shared that 150 of those surveyed in Sherburne County, didn’t feel safe.  650 said “yes” to parent/adult in home verbally abusive; 275 said “yes” to parent/adult slapped, punched or kicked them; 81% parents don’t know their teen is experiencing violence in their relationship and 80% of teens know of someone experiencing teen violence.  In 2021, they served over 200 youth working with outreach and education and they served 750 people overall.  So far in 2022, they have served 355 adults and 111 youth.  It is happening right here in Elk River!  They shared information with us to recognize warning signs.  Rivers of Hope has their Gala coming up next week, Thursday at Rockwoods and they will have a live silent auction that start Sunday. To find it and more information on Rivers of Hope, go to

- Taste of Elk River team updates were given by John Osterman and Nicole Rasmussen.
- The Taste of Elk River sign up sheet will begin going around next week.  Debbi Rydberg has once again offered her organizational services for this task!  Thank you Debbi!
- Dirk Barrett has a Taste of Elk River challenge for each of us to collect at least one Silent Auction item.
- Reminder to please get your $20 to John Osterman for the “booze raffles”.  Debbi Rydberg suggested that Treasurer Neil Gagnon invoice those who have not paid yet.  John will be in contact with Neil.

Some Fun . . .
- Debbi Rydberg
had a Mystery Raffle for us today and raised $25 for the Foundation.  Brandon Hanson was the lucky winner who won a CAER 5K t-shirt!

image- Card Game - an 8 of hearts was drawn and there was not a winner!
Happy Bucks

- Pete Reiner had a happy story about a phone call to a wrong phone number and after he hung up, he realized that he had called Rotarian Bruce “Buck” Tyler!
- Julie Fish was happy to have met her newest great nephew, Duncan, on Easter!
- Bonnie Koste was happy to give us an update on her brother Tommy.  Tommy is joining a new group home with three others and he seems to be ok with it.  He will be in Elk River1. She was also happy to be traveling to Duluth for the weekend!
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy to have spent Easter at her mom’s in Baxter, including a manicure and pedicure for her mom, daughter and herself.  She was also happy that her mom was on her way to a dream vacation in Hawaii for 10 days! It is the 4th anniversary of her father’s passing.  Nicole’s last happy buck was for an 11K race she will be running this coming weekend!
Together we recited the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do!
Debbi Rydberg is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
April 21, 2022
Topic: Debbi Rydberg's Personal Meeting Room
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 805 719 286
Regular and Zoom Meeting for April 14, 2022
President Tove Lichty led our meeting today.  John Osterman led us in the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” song and Adam Stumne shared inspiring words with us!

Dirk Barrett, Terry Bizal, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Kevin Gardner, Bonnie Koste, Tove Lichty, John Osterman, Pete Reiner, Beth Richards, Debbi Rydberg, Mason Schwartz, Robin Skinner, Theresa Slominski, Adam Stumne, honorary Glen Ertel and Bruce Tyler

Dr. Laura, Ideal Health - prospective member
Mark Kuyava, Ace Handyman Services - prospective member

Sadly, once again, our program had to cancel on us at the last minute.  Program Coordinator Robin Skinner took the opportunity to be our program and held a discussion about the struggles of being Program Coordinator.  Rotarians that she is emailing for program coordinating purposes, are not communicating back to her.  This makes it very difficult to put together a slate of programs.  She needs us to confirm our dates with her when she sends us an email.  She has the line up done through June, but let us know that she will not be the Program Coordinator for the 2022-23 year, due to the frustrations.  How do we proceed?  A lot of ideas were discussed and the Board of Directors will discuss and make a plan at their next board meeting in a couple of weeks.  Comments/conversations shared - What is a good program?  County, City updates, etc.  TBD’s listed are not a draw.  To some, the program brings them to the meetings, to others, it is the Rotarians that bring them to the meetings.  Perhaps Programs should be part of the Membership Committee and this could help members to engage.  A program point person has to be pre-ordained so there is one person to coordinate.   Knowing a couple of months in advance, that your name is coming up is helpful to line up the program.  Should the coordinator have to line up all the programs and the rotarian is assigned the week?  If you date is coming up and you can’t be there, you need to trade your week with someone else on the list.  A new member asked for clarification on what qualifies for a program.  A long time member shared that the best programs are those presented by Rotarians themselves about their hobbies and interests. He also shared that in the past, random raffles were fun and created the want to come to see what was going to happen next. Perhaps bring back the fine master?  President Elect Theresa Slominski has her radar out to find a new Program Coordinator.  If you find that this person is YOU, please reach out to Theresa.

Taste of Elk River Ticket Sale Updates

Commissioner Cal Portner shared a few baseball stories then called on team managers that were present to give their reports of BS, I mean ticket sales!  Terry Bizal and John Osterman reported in.  Terry feels that when Bob Maxwell* returns from his vacation, that he should be fined for sending out his world wide email to all of Terry’s team players.  This may be reported to Drug Czar Brandon Hanson as is seems illegal!
* The ebulletin producer Mr. Maxwell and council begs to differ with the above "illegal" description. Mr. See the source imageMaxwell has been doing the Constant Contact marketing for THE TASTE for many, many years without dispersions of illegality. Consequently, it was only inferred, and also known, that he would continue such marketing efforts. Essentially his processes were "grandfathered" in. The fact that he is one person as opposed to a large team should also be considered prior to rendering judgment. There are other issues but none other than the fact that, as I/ we have heard numerous times. If this.... IS considered "cheating" than I'm told that I'm not trying so.... which is it???? I rest my case and request the fine master render judgement for $1 against Mr. Bizal for slandering my name and ticket selling victories). May I remind Mr. Bizal there is no "crying" in baseball.....or did Mr. Bizal forget that as well!
That said....
Happy Anniversary to Terry Bizal!  25 Years!  Congratulations!

imageCard Draw was a king of clubs and there was not a winner . . .

Next week, our meeting will be led by President Elect Theresa Slominski in the absence of President Tove Lichty who will be getting a further education for her financial business!

Happy Bucks

- Theresa Slominski was happy for last week, spent in Arizona with six siblings and her mom.  Her mom came back with her and is moving into an assisted living place of her own!
- Pete Reiner was happy that Glen Ertel is here today because Pete finds interest in what Glen drives to the meeting and what he wears on his feet!
- Glen Ertel was happy to be back safely from Texas where he went with a friend to buy a motor home.  They flew to Texas and drove back 820 miles in one day!
- Cal Porter was happy and proud. There is a development in the city in need of some funds for septic failure and it is hopeful that a bill being presented next week will land them some funds for this neighborhood!  He was also happy that next week he is going to Florida to see his eldest daughter and check out her rock band!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy to be traveling to Kansas City to see her mom and brothers! She was also happy to have co-worker, Allie with us today to assist with our IT needs in the absence of Bob Maxwell.
- Robin Skinner was happy for an upcoming girls weekend with her high school friends, to Myrtle Beach!  She was also happy for the winter in Texas and she is pretending that today we have beautiful spring weather!
- Pete Reiner was happy to take note that Robin’s husband, Ben, will be home alone!
- Tove Lichty had a happy buck for each niece and nephew she will see at Easter and tossed in $8!

Together we recited the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do!
Rotarians -
I have to leave town but wanted to get these out.
Note link below for this and the next couple weeks. 
Regular Meeting - March 31, 2022
Debbi Rydberg is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Debbi Rydberg's Personal Meeting Room
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 805 719 2861
Today, Tove Lichty ran our meeting and welcomed all!

Guests: Mark Kuyava with Ace Handyman Services (prospective member)
                Dr. Laura with Ideal Health (prospective member)
                Allie Nylund with Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce - came to assist with IT for filling in for Bob Maxwell’s upcoming vacation

Visiting Rotarians -    Tracy Pierce with Acorn Housing Services and Anoka Rotarian
                                Valdi Stefanson, District Representative

Attending: Dirk Barrett, Terry Bizal, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Kevin Gardner, Molly Hanson, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Tove Lichty, John Osterman, Cal Portner, Nicole Rasmussen, Pete Reiner, Debbi Rydberg, Kat Sarff, Adam Stumne, David Vinje, honorary members Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell, Bruce Tyler, Stewart Wilson

We met Valdi Stefanson from our District and works with grants.  He came to recognize our club for its work with receiving a grant for the Magnus Veterans Foundation.  This was our first grant in many years. The grant was led by Rotarians Heather Kliewer and Casey Mahon who participated in a “shark tank” experience and a presentation was made.  Clubs in our district with funds donated to match our funds.  Our project scored very well and meetings began to make the grant happen.  Thank you Heather and Casey for all of your hard work!

Our program today was Acorn Housing Services representatives Tracy Pierce and Carmen Pouliout visited us today to tell us about their services.  Their business started in the midst of covid.  Carmen had retired from her job where she and Tracy worked together.  Tracy was ready for a change and together they began their services business!  They assist with housing stability.  They are a billed service to people on medical assistance and they help those with housing insecurity to live independently.  There is a lack of housing available as rent is up and we have a low minimum wage.  A voucher for assistance can take up to 8 years to attain.  The closest public housing is in St. Joseph, MN but services are not there.  Minnesota is a patchwork of support. We have homelessness in our area.  People are living on the street, in cars, couch hopping, etc.  Acorn Services helps out these folks to get housing. Check out their awesome website at acorn

Taste of Elk River Ticket Kick Off
Commissioner Cal Portner led our ticket team kick off by sharing a few baseball stories with us.  Drug Czar Brandon Hanson was not present today, but Cal explained is duty as Czar is to snoop out cheaters and embarrass them!   Team announcements were made.  First up was John Osterman with the Fighting Burbot team, next up was Nicole Rasmussen with the Cocoa Crispers, followed by Terry Bizal with Oops!  I did it again team and then Cal announced Mason Schwartz’s team Brick Mason Team!   Your managers will be contacting you to get your tickets and get selling!   Let the games begin!

- Spectrum High School scholarship presentation is Monday, April 25 at 7 am.  President Tove Lichty is looking for a volunteer to represent us.  Please contact her if you are available.
- May 5th, we will meet at Pizza Ranch as Chow has another event at their place.

Happy Birthday was sung to Stewart Wilson and Molly Hanson!

Card Game - an ace of clubs was drawn and there was not a winner.

Happy Bucks
- Molly Hanson was happy that next week she is going to Vegas for her birthday celebration.  She also let us know about a volunteer fair going on tomorrow from 9 to 1 at the YMCA!
- Bob Maxwell was happy to be going to Arizona for a vacation and will be gone next week!
-Julie Fish had a happy buck because she remembered her $20 to give to John Osterman for the Taste of Elk River!
- Dirk Barrett was happy for the sponsors for the Taste of Elk River!
- Tove Lichty was happy her parents are coming for the weekend!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy to tell us the advertising boards for the Taste will go up after Easter! She was also happy that Allie could join us!
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy for a trip to Red Wing to the Barn Bluff for a hike!

Together we recited the 4 Way Test!
Zoom Link to April 7, 2022 
Meeting ID: 869 4595 8822\
Regular Meeting - March 31, 2022
imageToday President Tove Lichty led our meeting.  John Osterman led us in song and Tove shared a thankful moment with us then welcomed everyone!

Welcome back Mark Kuyava with Ace Handyman Services.  Word on the street is that Mark has turned in a new member application form!  She welcomed back Mason Schwartz and Adam Stumne, who have been gone for a while.  Adam reports that we will be seeing more of him and Mason reports that we will be seeing him more regularly, real soon!
Attending: Terry Bizal, Julie Fish, Kevin Gardner, Brandon Hanson, Tove Lichty, John Osterman, Cal Portner, Nicole Rasmussen, Pete Reiner, Beth Richards, Debbi Rydberg, Mason Schwartz, Theresa Slominski, Adam Stumne, honorary Bob Maxwell and Bruce Tyler

Tove thanked President-Elect Theresa Slominski for leading out meeting last week in Tove’s absence.
We had a program today, but there was some difficulty without zoom connection so the program will be rescheduled.  President Tove took advantage of the situation and called up a couple of our newest members - Beth Richards and Kevin Gardner.  She presented them with their official name badges and read an induction that was very impressive!  Each Rotarian took a moment to tell us about themselves.   Beth is from Zimmerman and has lived in the area her whole life.  She has 4 children, ages 18 to 10 and she for the last couple of years, has worked for Boy Scouts of America.  Her passion is working at the camps.  She is excited to be a part of Rotary!   Kevin is from Lakeville and moved to Elk River 19 months ago to be closer to his daughter.  Kevin owns a pool and spa business in Plymouth.  He joined Rotary to get involved and meet people in the community!  Welcome Beth and Kevin!  Next, President Tove had us go around the room and tell us who you are, what you do, why you joined rotary when they joined.  Many comments were shared and it there was apparent common statement throughout the group and that is that we are family and a lot of rotarians stay because of that and the community connection and of course . . . the fun times!

- Taste of Elk River Updates
                * Commissioner Cal Portner shared that the team captains met today and held their draft!
                * Ticket kick off will be next week, April 7th.  Please plan to attend so you can receive your tickets to sell and posters, etc.
- Strategic Plan Update
* Tove
met with Janet McCarty and they have worked on building the plans for our goals.  The first piece is to get on track with a SOCIAL! each month.  The committee is meeting on Tuesday, April 5 around 4:30/4:45 at Chow.  Please join! The second piece is recruit and retain members and the membership committee is working on updating the membership application and are planning a recruitment in the fall.   Cal Portner and Brandon Hanson reported that they have been working on the new club motto.

imageCard Game - card pulled was not a match!
Happy Birthday to Julie Fish!  For $20, she requested that her birthday be sung to her backwards so Rotarians turned around and sang to her with their backs to her!  She reports that it was work the $20 to not have everyone looking at her while singing!
Happy Bucks:

- Brandon Hanson had a buck because he loved the induction speech that Tove read. He was happy for the friends he has made in our club, especially Troy Adams, who is now in Wisconsin, but he and Troy shared a love of 90’s tunes and they attended concerts together.  This Sunday, Rotarian Robin Skinner’s husband, Ben is going to see Golden Smog at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis with Brandon!
- Bruce “Buck” Tyler was happy that Tove was quick with the great idea to fill the program time and he shared a story about a streaker at a baseball game!
- Pete Reiner was happy that when he went to Hempel Tax Service, he saw a tribute piece on their wall for Keith Hempel who started the business and was an amazing Rotarian!  It was suggested that his son who runs the business should be invited to visit and join rotary.  Pete was going to get on that!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy for several dollars because the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce Gala went well.  She also was happy to thank Bob Maxwell for doing such a fabulous job on Social Media for the Taste of Elk River.  She also shared that a third place has been secured for the black board signs for the Taste.  There will be one at Ralphie’s Minnoco, Coborns and rotarian David Vinje’s land off Highway 10 east!
- Julie Fish had a happy buck for Buck’s Happy Buck joke!
- John Osterman was also happy for Bob Maxwell who had added Venmo to our pay options for the Taste of Elk River!
- Theresa Slominski was happy to be leaving for sunny Arizona to spend a week with her six siblings! 
- Adam Stumne was $10 happy!  Happy for his family and happy for the MN Wild Kaprizov who is two away from setting the MN Wild single-season record for points. It is hopeful that he will do it this weekend!
- Bob Maxwell had a happy buck for the MN Wild also, and a happy buck because he is heading to Arizona!
- Tove Lichty was happy to tell us that while she missed last week for class, she learned how to fly a space ship!  She was also happy that she was already able to use something she learned in the class!  She was happy to be going to a live concert next Tuesday at the Fine Line and it was an impulse purchase!
- Brandon Hanson came up with another happy buck and he was happy that he and his son took an impromptu trip to a MN Wild vs. Flyers game and landed seats in the middle of a huge group of UMD Bulldog players!!
Together we recited the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do!
Zoom Link to March 31, 2022 
Meeting ID: 869 4595 8822\
Regular and Zoom Meeting - March 24, 2022
imageToday our meeting was ran by President Elect Theresa Slominski!  Her first meeting today and she did a fabulous job!
Guest: Mark Kyuava with Ace Handyman Service out of Rogers.  He reached out through and asked to be connected to our club.  He came to check us out today.  He opened his business this year on February 14th and Elk River is in his territory.  He is interested in giving back to the community!  Welcome Mark!
Also visiting was Dr. Laura with Ideal Health.  Rumor has it that she has received a membership application!  Welcome back Dr. Laura!
Attending: Terry Bizal, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Kevin Gardner, Molly Hanson, Heather Kliewer, John Osterman, Cal Portner, Nicole Rasmussen, Pete Reiner, Theresa Slominski, honorary Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell and Bruce “Buck” Tyler
Our program today was Tedi Carlson from our District.  She came today to tell us more about the Rotary efforts towards eliminating human trafficking. 
Image result for child traffickingHuman trafficking is usually either sexual or for labor.  It is kept in control by the trafficker.  An estimated 40 million people are enslaved around the world.  It is second only to illegal drugs.  Anyone under the age of 18 that is caught cannot be charged with prostitution.  There are 300,000 new victims each year in the USA.  Traffickers prey on children and those suffering from poverty. They are trafficking “underground” and not necessarily in large cities.  The Midwest is a big recruiting area due to the I-35 corridor that runs from Lorado, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota.  Minneapolis is the 13th largest for trafficking. She shared a list of 15 apps that are used for trafficking.  Often those being trafficked are branded with a tattoo.  Human trafficking is a problem because there is a demand.  There are over 480,000 sites that offer illegal pornography.  Typical buyers are men, aged 18 to 84.  Most purchase for the first time before 21 years old and over half are married or with a partner.  If you notice something, Tedi tells us to call 911 first and let them handle the situation.  There is a hotline as Preventing Human Traffickingwell - MN Hotline 866-223-111 or text 612-399-9995.  How can we end Human Trafficking?  She suggests we raise awareness, education children and adults, reduce the vulnerability/risk factor and stop the demand.  Why Rotary?  Rotary is the largest global service organization in the world. This program is being sponsored by Districts 5950/5960/5580.   She encourages us to have a club champion to lead the charge for our community.  For further information, contact Clare Lillie at

- Taste of Elk River Updates
*Pete Reiner reports that the tents
are secured!
* Treasurer Neil Gagnon has received sponsorship checks from The Bank of Elk River, SPIRE Credit Union, Cornerstone Auto, Metal Craft, Minnesota Optical and Elk River Printing!  Sponsorship deadline is right around the corner!
*Nicole Rasmussen
reports that she is looking for an
Image result for socialApril SOCIAL! So please offer her suggestions.  The May SOCIAL! Will be the Taste of Elk River “after party”!  Plan to be there for clean up and the fun!   June SOCIAL! Will be held at President Tove Lichty’s home and the date is TBD.

- Grant Update

Image result for rotary Grant Money* Heather Kliewer was pleased to tell us that we will have final approval soon for our grant for the Magnus Veterans Foundation.  Someone from the District will come in person and present us the funds!   Great job Heather Kliewer and transferred to a new club, Rotarian Casey Mahon for all of your hard work!
- Happy $$
*Terry Bizal was happy for last weekend when he
watched his daughter’s college hockey team win National Champions when they played in the Frozen Four!
*Tedi our guest was happy to be here with us and loved the environment at Chow!
* Cal Portner was happy also for attending a game of hockey for his daughter’s college hockey team who also won National Champs! He saw a lot of friends that they have missed due to covid.  He was also happy that his other daughter’s first live gig as a cover band in Florida went well and they received five new gigs!
* Heather Kliewer was happy for our guest, Mark and was also happy that this evening is the Elk River Area Chamber Gala at Rockwoods!
* Neil Gagnon was happy because last July, they ordered furniture and it is being delivered tomorrow morning, finally!  He is also happy to be going on a trip next week to Las Vegas.  They also have future plans for a family trip to go to Branson, MO!
- Theresa Slominski was happy that her daughter was home for spring break.  She has a summer job with 3M in Mankato so they went apartment looking!
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy to have ran a race for St. Patrick’s day and was happy that when she opened up her camper this spring, there was only one dead mouse.  She also had a buck to be going to the dentist after this rotary meeting!

image- Card Game - there was not a winner today and it was ok because there was a winner last week so we need to build up the funds!  Buy often!
Theresa asked us to join her to recite the 4 Way Test and then rang the bell of dismissal!

Regular and Zoom Meeting - March 24, 2022
Regular and Zoom Meeting - March 17, 2022 
imagePresident Tove Lichty led our meeting today!

Guest:  Dr. Laura with Ideal Health

Attending:  Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Kevin Gardner, Brandon Hanson, Heather Kliewer, Tove Lichty, Janet McCarty, John Osterman, Cal Portner, Nicole Rasmussen, Beth Richards, Debbi Rydberg, Theresa Slominski, honorary Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell and Bruce “Buck” Tyler

Our program today was not able to attend, so it was filled with talk of the upcoming Taste of Elk River event!  Dirk Barrett led us in a discussion of food vendors.  He
read off a list of past and prospective names and we brainstormed together to come up with some additional to add to the list.  Brandon Hanson has the master list and will get the new names added.   We then went on to Sponsorships, led by Bonnie Koste with some wonderful assistance from Kevin Gardner.  Currently we have ReMax, First Bank Elk River, American Family-Bonnie Koste Agency, BeeHive Homes of Elk River, Edward Jones-Tove Lichty, Gateway Financial Strategies, Homerun Human Resources, MidwestOne Bank, North Central Insurance, SPIRE Credit Union and Weber Interiors.  A list of many more was shared and a few people offered to reach out to the connection they had.  Stay tuned for more sponsors to the list next week!  Ticket/Team kick off will be held during the meeting on Thursday, April 7th so be sure to put this date on your “must attend Rotary today” list.  It will be very helpful to the team captains if you can be at the meeting to receive your tickets to sell.  Again this year, our Commissioner will be Cal Portner who may be assisted by Bruce “Buck” Tyler.  We will again follow the baseball theme for our ticket sales so get ready to rumble . . .
Final Taste reminder - get your $20 turned in to John Osterman as he is collecting for the booze/wine raffles that will be held during the Taste of Elk River.  He’s keeping a list!

Service Projects

Image result for Rotary Community Service- Tomorrow, March 18th from 11 am to 1 pm, come join in the fun at Open Doors for Youth to help them refresh with a spring clean!
- Saturday, April 9th, in the morning, come join in at Ruff Start Rescue and help them clean up a hay pile outside on their septic tank.  Bet there will be some cute pups to pet as well!

Share the Love - this District fund raiser has been extended into March so if you didn’t get a chance to donate in February, you can still do it and get in on the promotions going on!  Go to and in the upper right hand corner, click on the “donate now” button.

Thank you Brandon Hanson for being our Throw Back President for a day while Tove was on vacation in California where she used an app on her phone and found that there was a Rotary meeting in the hotel she was staying, so she attended!  She felt welcome right away and it was fun to see how other clubs run their meetings! She also shared that she felt a little intimidated with all of the very rich folks in the room with her!

John Osterman proposed a “fine from the floor” to Cal Portner because his town is being a title hog with both the girls and boys hockey teams taking State titles! 
Cal Portner proposed a “fine from the floor” to Tove Lichty because she is a financial planner and felt intimidated in a room with a bunch of rich folks!  And this, led to

Happy Bucks!

- Cal Portner was happy to have visited his parents.  His dad, who had surgery, is healing well.  Cal spent Tues.-Fri. In Arizona for a reunion of Air Force squadrons who he spent time with in Germany.  21 gathered for their first get together and he was happy for many great stories!  He is also happy to be leaving tomorrow with his wife and daughter to go to Boston for the Women’s Frozen Four!
- Julie Fish was happy to announce the birth of her 26th Great, who was born on the same day that is this little one’s great, great grandfather’s 120th birthday!
- Dirk Barrett was happy for an upcoming two week road trip to the west and south!
- Theresa Slominski was happy for her mom to have a trip to Arizona to visit with Theresa’s brother.  However, while there, she ended up in the hospital with low oxygen for five days, but is out and doing better.  Theresa was also happy to be spending the upcoming weekend with her kids and the frozen face off, men’s tournament.
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy to have some time off work for spring break.  Happy to be wearing green for St. Patrick’s day, happy to be working her side gig and happy to be doing a 7k race this Saturday for St. Patrick’s Day!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy to give a sales pitch about the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce upcoming gala and silent auction.  She put around a few flyers with a QR code that will take you to their auction items.  Bid often . . .  Bids close at 7:50 on Thursday, March 24th.
- Beth Richards was happy to have spent last weekend at camp with 78 kids who were earning merit badges!  She was also happy for a confirmed speaker for a leadership breakfast in Princeton!
- Tove Lichty was happy for a great trip to California. Napa was her favorite.  She was thankful to Brandon for filling in and reminded us that she will not be here next week as she has some training for work to tend to.
- Bob Maxwell had a happy buck for the fact that the camera that tipped over landed in a box and received no damage!  (Phrew!)

imageCard Game - today we had a winning match in the hand of Dirk Barrett!  Dirk turned his half of the funds back in to go to the foundation so the total funds to the foundation today were at $61!   The Rotary Foundation Thanks You!

President Tove had a challenge for each of us to engage in our community in a Rotary way, to grow awareness of rotary.

Together we recited the 4 Way Test and the bell of dismissal was rung!
Regular and Zoom Meeting March 10, 2022 
imageToday at Rotary, we had a throw-back Thursday meeting!  A past president, Brandon Hanson, ran our meeting in the absence of Tove Lichty, current president!

Guest:  Rob Rydberg, guest and husband of Debbi Rydberg

Attending: Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Kevin Gardner, Brandon Hanson, Molly Hanson, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Janet McCarty, John Osterman, Nicole Rasmussen, Pete Reiner, Debbi Rydberg, Theresa Slominski, honorary Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell, Bruce “Buck” Tyler and Stewart Wilson

Brandon Hanson started us off with Happy Bucks today!
- Debbi Rydberg was happy that her husband Rob could be with us today and was happy about the Chamber’s virtual silent auction!  Go check it out!
- Heather Kliewer was happy that yesterday with the Chamber Ambassador’s group, they met a travel agent and Heather booked a flight!
- Nicole Rasmussen was happy for a great weekend visiting her mom.  Her taxes are done and she gets a refund and yesterday, her boyfriend Marc’s son was accepted into the Air Force and leaves for Texas in June!
- Molly Hanson was happy for having a day off tomorrow to hang out with her sister and niece for a girls day!
- Julie Fish was happy for her Grandpa Fish, who is in heaven celebrating his 120th birthday and she was also hopeful that her newest great nephew would arrive on this day . . .  Stay tuned!
- Bob Maxwell was happy that after an hour of time, the zoom in the room is working! We have new equipment that is all ours!
- Bonnie Koste was happy to see her daughter working today at Chow as our server and gave $20!  She was also happy for our program today, Katie Shatusky, as she and Bonnie are cousins!

Club Announcements

- Bonnie Koste is rallying the Sponsorship Committee for the Taste of Elk River 2022!  She encourages us to all assist and she has a spreadsheet to share with names and looks forward to adding to it!  Bob Maxwell sent out the packet a week or so ago.  If you can’t find it, please contact Bonnie for a packet!
- Janet McCarty reminded us of a couple of upcoming Service Projects!  Friday, March 18th we will assist Open Doors for Youth with some spring cleaning projects and on Saturday, April 9th, we will assist Ruff Start Rescue.  Please be sure to get your name on the sign up sheet!
- Molly Hanson reported in for the Youth and we have our scholarship checks and forms sent in to ERHS, Spectrum and Ivan Sand School!   Thanks Molly for taking care of things!
- Julie Fish shared that the Three Rivers Community Foundation is hosting their annual Golf Tournament and asked if some Rotarians may want to put a team together.  Flyers were left on the tables for information and sign up!  Funds raised helps TRCF provide scholarships to all schools in ISD 728 and gives grants to ISD 728 non-profit groups at around $60,000 annually.  Please help us grow our endowment with your generosity and some fun playing golf!  It is a blast!
- Nicole Rasmussen is seeking ideas for an upcoming Social and the group decided that St. Patrick’s Day was reason enough to gather! An email will be sent out with details!
- Dirk Barrett gave a Taste of Elk River update and
again stressed the importance of the Sponsors.   He also has chatted with Joe with Elk River Liquors and they have some new ideas brewing for raffles.   John Osterman is collecting $20 from each Rotarian to go towards the raffles so be sure to get your bucks turned in to him.
- Brandon Hanson reported that he and Cal Portner met to discuss our current Mission Statement and some changes it could use.

image- Card Game - an 8 of clubs was drawn and although Pete Reiner tried to cheat, there was not a winner!

Our program today was Katie Shatusky with
Image result for Thumbs Up 5K Elk River MN. Size: 165 x 170. Source: raceroster.comThumbs Up.  Thumbs Up is our Taste of Elk River 2022 significant donation recipient!  She came to thank us for selecting them and to give us an update!  They were established in 2014 after she lost her Grandpa Bob to suicide.  It all began with a 5K where they had 500 people attend!  It was then that they realized that this was bigger than they thought it would be!  The first year they raised thumbs up$10,000.  They gave $9,500 to the Yellow Ribbon group at ERHS and kept $500 seed money for the next years event. In 2021, they had 992 people attend and raised $87,000!  Wow!   Thumbs Up is a 501(c)(3) non profit.  They do many things such as bereavement gifts to families who are experiencing a suicide loss.  It includes a bell wind chime, worry stones, keep moving forward bracelet and a sympathy card. They have created “calming corners” spaces at each school in ISD 728.  These are places for de escalating and calming so the student can go back to the classroom.  Thumbs Up gives out cheer bags and also have these at all ISD 728 schools and in Spring Lake Park as well. The counselors at the schools have them.  They are customized by age and are to brighten the live of someone who is struggling.  Thumbs Up also helps with Emotion Support Dogs where they partner and donate one dog/year to a family in need of a support dog to help with anxiety, depression, autism and more! They also have a referral assistance program where they pay for counseling for those who can’t afford it.  It is an application process that is available on their website.  They will pay for up to 5 sessions and have had 27 applicants so far!  They also assist the Seniors of our community with Smiles for Seniors where they do such things as donate iPads and do things to let them know that they are thought of.  They do community outreach through their 5K in the fall and also through a program that will be held on Monday, April 18th at ERHS in the Zabee Theatre.  Doors open at 5:30 and the program is from 6 to 8.  Keynote speaker i Katie Gladdin and she will teach that resilience is a skill that can be learned and she hopes to empower teens through life’s unexpected, uncertain and unwanted challenges. Most recently they have opened a place in downtown Elk River to help with youth mental health awareness and prevention.  The center is open Monday - Friday from 2:15 to 5 pm and is a place for middle and high school students to hang out to do homework, play games, art projects and more.  They have had over 100 visits in February!  Katie works full time for Thumbs Up and has a part time administrative assistant and many, many volunteers!  To learn more -

Throw Back Thursday President, Brandon Hanson led us through the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do and rang the dismissal bell!
Regular Meeting - March 3, 2022
imageToday our meeting was led by President Tove Lichty who was excited for our board of directors election today!

Attending: Dirk Barrett, Julie Fish, Neil Gagnon, Brandon Hanson, Heather Kliewer, Bonnie Koste, Tove Lichty, Janet McCarty, John Osterman, Nicole Rasmussen, Beth Richards, Debbi Rydberg, honorary Dave Anderson, Glen Ertel, Bob Maxwell, Bruce Tyler and Stewart Wilson

Guest:  Maddie, who is a physician assistant in Rogers, is also helping out Open Doors for Youth here in Elk River.  Maddie and others, have put together a new non-profit health services business to offer to the folks at Open Doors for Youth.  She is currently the only provider and is will be there on Tuesdays for scheduled appointments or walk in clients.  She will meet with the youth where they are at physically to determine their health care needs.  They will expand as they go.  This is a free service for youth.  If she cannot help, she will refer the youth to someone.  They are working with Goodrich Pharmacy and Kemper Drug for assistance with medicine needs.  Most of the youth are 18 years old plus, so there should not be an issue.  If the youth is under 18 years old, a parental assistance may be needed.

Dirk Barrett was our program and gave us information for the Taste of Elk River 2022!  It will be held Thursday, May 19th from 5 to 9 pm at the Sherburne County Fair Grounds.  He has packets for Sponsorships and please watch your email for a Sponsorship Packet coming your way from Bob Maxwell.  Bonnie Koste is leading the Sponsorship team, but all hands are needed to gather sponsors.  The goal this year is to have $30,000 in sponsorships.  If each person could pull in $1000 in sponsorships, we would have it!  Dirk shared that John Houlton with First Bank Elk River is committed to a $5,000 sponsorship and says it is the best money spent for promotion!  They are having a Mediterranean wine theme in the VIP tent this year!  Sponsorship cut off date is March 18th.  Ticket sales will launch on April 7th.  Cal Portner has agreed to be the commissioner again for 2022 and Brandon Hanson, past “drug czar” will continue on in this position, but with a new title - drug lord!  In 2022, the wall of wine will not be held, however, each rotarian is requested to donate $20 to John Osterman.  These funds will be used to purchase the booze for the barrel of booze.  John collected from a few rotarians right away and is keeping a list.  Again this year we will have the silent auction.  There is talk of music, maybe food trucks?  Dirk is open to all ideas to raise funds.  Brandon Hanson is handling the food vendors again this year and John Osterman is handling the beverage vendors.  There is a meeting today, following our regular meeting.


On behalf of Janet McCarty, Debbi Rydberg gave us an update on upcoming service projects.  Contact Janet to sign up or get your name on the list at the front table.  The upcoming events are:  Friday, March 18th from 11 am to 1 pm to assist with some update projects at Open Doors for Youth.  Saturday, April 9th starting at 9 am, Ruff Start Rescue is asking for some assistance at their center.
President Tove Lichty was excited to update us on our campaign for the District Share the Love fund raiser.  Our club, so far, has raised $1,250!  The campaign has been extended through March so if you didn’t get in on the fun, there is still time!  Go to and find the donate button in the upper right hand corner.
President Tove let us know that she will be on vacation next week and we will have a throw back Thursday leader as Brandon Hanson plays president for the day!  Be sure to come and join in the fun!  There is talk that a fine master may be present!
- The donations committee met and Debbi Rydberg gave us an update. There were some funds left from the first run and the committee received new requests and donated the following:  $300 to the Boy Scout breakfast coming up in April; $100 to Spectrum High School Graduation Party; $250 to Elk River High School Graduation Party; $100 to Ivan Sand High School; $100 to Zimmerman High School Graduation Party; $300 to the CAER Fool Run fundraiser; $500 to Cambridge/Isanti Rotary for participation in an international project in the Ukraine.
Board of Directors vote is today and for the first time, probably ever, there will be a campaign for President Elect 2023/24 by Debbi Rydberg and Heather Kliewer as both are interested in the position.  One will receive the position and the other will be on the board of directors as a member at large and could be President Elect 2024/25.  Debbi went first and told of the reasons why we should vote for her, followed by Heather who had the same opportunity.  Ballots were passed out and at the end of the meeting, treasurer Neil Gagnon, who tallied the votes, informed us that we have a winner, by only one vote!  Our President Elect 2023/24 will be Debbi Rydberg!  Congratulations Debbi!

imageCard game - a 9 of clubs was pulled and there was not a winner.

Happy Bucks
Nicole Rasmussen started us off with a happy buck for a fun trip to Vegas where she completed a half marathon.  She is very sore, but the weather was great!  She also had a happy buck to be going to Baxter to visit her mom this weekend!
Bruce “Buck” Tyler had a happy buck and a story!  Yesterday, their clothes dryer quit in the middle of a load with another load to go.  Off they went to the store and $1500 later, they have a new dryer!
Brandon Hanson was happy that over 20 years ago, he coached hockey and now, he is coaching the team his son is on and they are District 10 Champions!
- Julie Fish was happy that the Monticello Moose high school hockey team is going to the State Tournament!  Bob Maxwell shared the story about the name Moose!
Dirk Barrett had a happy buck which was a sad buck as he shared his loss of two people in his life.  His wife’s uncle Wayne Eull and an old friend Doug Anderson.  Our sympathies to you Dirk!
John Osterman was happy to tell us that he is going to announce at the Elk River Girls Basketball game tonight!
Tove Lichty was $20 happy to go on vacation tomorrow!  Heading to San Francisco, Napa, Tahoe and is looking forward to breathing fresh air.  She was also happy because their contractor is going to be doing some work in their home while they’re gone!

Together we recited the 4 Way Test of the things we think, say and do and Tove rang the dismissal bell!